Adolescents today are setting high standards, creating multiple goals, and experiencing many demands in their academic world.
When a teen expects perfection within all of these demands, the risk of stress increases. An objective, compassionate therapist can guide your teen in creating realistic goals and developing healthy coping skills to handle academic pressure. In working with a counselor, your teen will learn invaluable time management, organization, and planning strategies to help reduce procrastination and anxiety. Oftentimes, teens postpone starting an assignment because they feel overwhelmed with fear of failure, inadequacy, and self-doubt due to the unrealistically high expectations they have set. This leads to a cycle of avoidance that leaves teens feeling paralyzed in facing their schoolwork and the anxiety associated with it. A counselor will provide education and support on the pitfalls of perfectionism, helping your teen to create small steps toward more helpful, realistic goals. Learning these strategies will help your teen build self-esteem, confidence, and a sense of calm in response to academic demands.
Counselors can also help your teen by creating an overall plan for self-care and wellness. For example, your teen can learn relaxation exercises, meditation and mindfulness in order to be better equipped to manage academic demands. With the support of a psychologist, teens can incorporate strategies such as abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and peaceful scene imagery into their daily routines to promote anxiety reduction. Therapists can also guide teens in learning how to mindfully watch their thoughts, in order to increase awareness of self-defeating, anxious, and distorted thought patterns. Teens can then work toward creating more balanced, accurate, and kinder thoughts to increase feelings of self-worth and hopefulness. Therapists will also help to reinforce the need for your teen to prioritize behavioral strategies such as exercise, consistent sleep schedule, healthy eating habits, and socializing with friends.